Hot dog eating champ Patrick Bertoletti talks about his Chicago roots, the glory of the Chicago Dog

Patrick Bertoletti vaulted himself into legendary status among Chicagoans after downing 58 hot dogs in 10 minutes to win his first men's title at the annual Nathan's Famous Fourth of July hot dog eating contest.

Bertoletti, who grew up in Palos Heights, defeated 13 competitors from around the world to hoist the Nathan's mustard championship belt on New York's Coney Island.

"It's a little overwhelming but I feel great," Bertoletti said. " This is all I hoped for and perfection. This is the best thing that could have ever happened."

Bertoletti, who set a personal record in the contest, credited extensive practice for his victory.

"I think my kitchen is going to smell like hot dogs for a while, but, yeah, just practice, repetition," Bertoletti said. "I don't even know visualization and stuff like that. It's hard for me to even watch myself eating like that. It's not pretty either."

Bertoletti described himself as very "Chicago-centric. He went to school at Morgan Park Academy and most of his family resides in either Frankfort or in Chicago's Mount Greenwood neighborhood. He acknowledged that there is no substitute for a properly assembled Chicago Dog.

"Chicago-style dogs are the only way to eat it. I mean, there's nothing better," Bertoletti said.

Patrick Bertoletti attends the men's title during Nathan's Famous Hot Dogs Eating Contest which takes place annually at Coney Island on Independence Day in New York, United States on America on July 4th, 2024. (Photo by Beata Zawrzel/NurPhoto via Get

Bertoletti, 39, said he is good friends with Joey Chestnut, who was banned from the 2024 competition because he signed a deal with Impossible Foods, a rival of Nathan’s Hot Dogs. Chestnut also gave him advice leading into Thursday's competition.

Bertoletti's victory marks the first time the famed mustard belt has gone to someone besides Chestnut since 2015. Bertoletti said the excitement from winning the contest outweighed the pain that followed immediately afterwards.

"You feel great, but the crash is imminent. I had the meat sweats after. So, it's not pleasant that's for sure," Bertoletti said.

Bertoletti, whose nickname is "Deep Dish," said he plans to return to defend his belt next year.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.